Mitre’s Museo

In the porteño business heart –known as microcentro, we visited the house formerly owned by Bartolomé Mitre, Argentinian president and key figure in local history.

Nowadays, it is hard to make out this Eighteenth-century building –which used to house Bartolomé Mitre’s family residence- hidden among the tall office buildings and banks. There was a time when downtown Buenos Aires would not go higher than this ancient dwelling. Featuring a simple façade, it shelters part of the country’s history.

On Someone Else’s Steps

The City of Buenos Aires is essentially made up by relatively new buildings. It is unusual to tour around buildings built over a century ago. But Mitre’s Museum is over two centuries old and not only did Bartolomé Mitre and his family inhabit the spaces surrounded by these walls, but also other key figures in Argentinian history passed through this venue.

Outside, the hustle and bustle of the porteño financial center stirs with business operations, hurried men in suits, political demonstrations and the like. No sooner had we crossed the threshold at 336, San Martín Street than we found an old-fashioned yard and breathed a different atmosphere.

  • Old-fashioned yard

    Old-fashioned yard

  • Various aspects of his public and private life

    Various aspects of his public and private life

  • The American Library

    The American Library

  • Historical documents

    Historical documents

  • First floor

    First floor

Public and Private

Mitre’s biography is too long to be told now. A man of multiple interests, not exempt from controversy, his life was always crossed by worries for public matters. This would be evident during his administration, as well as in his work as a historian and journalist.

His concern for public matters left vestiges in the house once owned by his family, everywhere from the halls housing the first offices of La Nación newspaper to the study where he was visited by remarkable figures of those days.

A curious fact we became aware of during our visit to the museum is that Mitre moved into this house in 1859. When his administration finished in 1868, he did not have enough money to buy the house where he had been living. Then, a popular committee was organized with the aim of purchasing this venue for him as a way of appreciating his public service. He lived there until his death, in 1906.

Open Spaces and Closed Spaces

From the first yard we could see the various reception halls and studies. Bearing colonial style, the house has been built around three open yards into which all spaces converge.

We went through a corridor onto the second yard. Standing there, we could see the dining-room and the hall of the house, the billiards room (one of Mitre’s favorite pastimes) and other spaces. A beautiful well stands in the center of the yard. In the back, the third yard was closed in 1937 in order to be turned into a conference room.

We reached the second floor through the staircase. This floor was added to the original house by Bartolomé Mitre’s son, Emilio, in 1883. Upstairs we found another exhibition room which belongs to the museum, the American Library and the spaces once occupied by Bartolomé Mitre’s bedroom and study.

The American Library left by Mitre to all the Argentinian people is made up by books and newspapers he collected during his lifetime. Specialized in Latin American history, today it is part of the museum library and, therefore, is open to visitors.

Walking on the boards and tiles once stepped on by a person who held the future of the country in his hands and did his best to change it inevitably reminds us that this hero who looks at us from the paintings and statues was also a person. That is the secret revealed by this museum.

Autor Marcos Rodríguez Fotografo Gentileza Ministerio de Cultura -

Contact of the excursion or tour

Mitre Museum

San Martín 336 () Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad de Buenos Aires

Tel: +54 11-43948240

Tour typeTour type: Museum


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